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State officials pondering whether to expand absentee voting

Apr 08, 2020 5:30 am
Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics state officials are moving toward expanding New York's requirements for absentee ballot access for the June 23 primary, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of voters are expected at the polls in June to vote in primaries and special elections. Races will include the Democratic presidential primary, congressional and state legislative primaries, as well as special contest for a western New York House district seat, and for a state Senate seat in the central part of the state. “People are asking to be able to do absentee ballots because they’re afraid of getting sick or they’re in an at-risk group or they just don’t simply want to go to the polls on Election Day,” said Dustin Czarny, the co-chairman of the statewide association of elections commissioners. Czarny said the state needs to expand its absentee ballot criteria to include the pandemic. The state has strict guidelines that govern access to absentee ballots, and a change such as allowing voting by mail, would likely require a constitutional amendment. State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, a Bronx Democrat is hopeful the Legislature will convene in some form in the near future — likely through remote voting — to pass a variety of coronavirus-related measures including an absentee ballot measure. Read the full story at newyorkstateofpolitics [dot] com.